Flash - Hot Spring Hustle

19 Jul 2009 07:00
19 Jul 2009 17:00
Pitt Lake, British Columbia, Canada

What: There are hot springs in the mountains on Pitt River.   They are hard to reach.  Word is that they are quite beautiful.  This is an adventure that aims to reward the adventure-seeker with not only with an adventure, but with a relaxing dip in the springs!

Why: Because you've never been there before.

Who: Given that the hot springs are deep in the back country, this event is best suited to experienced back-road cyclists.  By invitation only.

When: Date is TBD in consultation with those who are interested in joining the adventure.  It has to be a Saturday or Sunday and it would be best to do this on a sunny, spring day.  We would aim to start and finish at the head of Pitt Lake during daylight.

More: Getting to the springs involves getting to the northern end of Pitt Lake, a 22K trek up a logging road and scaling 200M or so down a valley.  In order to accomplish this in a day, I recommend we take a boat up the lake and mountain bike to the springs.  I recommend the details be worked out with comments below

Entry: There is no fee and you don't need to be a member of Club Fat Ass to participate in a Flash event, however whining is not allowed. No registration is required but please indicate your participation via the comment form below. You are responsible for your own well being and safety and should be self sufficient.

Please read the Release of All Claims. By participating in this event you agree to the terms of the Release of All Claims.


Jason Eads's picture

Hope fully it's HOT at the Hot Springs Hustle!


In honor of your trek to the hot springs during the Hot Springs Hustle:


Eddie Murphy has to be one of the funniest men ever...


Ean Jackson's picture

New Date!

The party is gaining momentum.  New date is 3rd Sunday in July.  The risk of high water due to snowmelt will be minimal then.  Let's keep our fingers crossed that it doesn't rain...

Ean Jackson's picture

Status Update

A small ruffle in the plans.  Here is a photo of the springs...

Note that there is a concrete barrier that separates the relaxing hot springs from the icy cold river.  When the river is low, in the late summer and early fall before the monsoons, the springs are toasty hot.  In this photo, the river is slightly higher than the barrier, so the water in the springs is slightly cooled. (I think this photo was taken in October.)

It's now late May.  The snow in the mountains above the springs is apparently a bit late to melt this year.  It is possible that the river level is still above the barrier.  If it is, the hot springs will still be underwater.  An excursion to a cold hot springs would be an expensive mountain bike ride.

I spoke to a friend of a friend (Neil) who is a frequent visitor to the springs.  He figures they are swamped and recommended we postpone for a month.  I'm torn, because the forecast is for an exceptionally beautiful day this Sunday.  Thoughts?

Ean Jackson's picture

Another vote...

I have been shaking the bushes a lot today.  Spoke to Tyson who has been the the springs dozens of times... including this time of year. 

First, he thinks anyone who doesn't put their bike in a canoe and paddle up the lake is a wuss.  Second, he thinks the odds are in the favor of the river being higher than the dike this weekend and recommends we postpone for a month or more.

He said that he has seen the water level in the river rise a full meter during a 3-hour stay at the springs causing his dip to go from warm to glacial.  Hot weather in the spring will do it, 'cause that makes the snow melt faster.  It's supposed to be a beautiful, hot weekend with rain the next few days.  Not good prospects for a hot dip!

My vote is to postpone.  Lots to do on a nice summerlike Sunday.  Here's a thought:

My vote...

Well, considering my inability to read dates, I vote for waiting.  I would hate to get all the way there and not have the benefit of the hot springs.  Thanks for posting the pics as it looks amazing!


Ean Jackson's picture

Rough Agenda

The date is approaching like a freight train.  I'm confirming water taxi cost and availability.  Anyone know anyone who has a boat that could fit 6 bikes, 6 bikers and might like to join us and have their beer bill paid?


Here's a stab at an agenda that should see us get there and back in the same day during light with a bit of time to spare.  All times just a guestimate, so chip in if you know better:

7:30 - meet at the dock on Pitt Lake.  Location TBD depending on who has the boat

8:30 - get to the head of the lake.  This assumes a 1-hour boat ride, stowing bikes and gear, etc.

10:30 - get to the hot springs.  This assumes a 2-hour bike ride.  Not sure how close of an estimate this is.

16:30 - saddle up the bikes.  This assumes 6-hours of frolicking in the hot springs and related exploration

18:30 - get back to the head of the lake.  This assumes a 2-hour bike ride.  As above, not sure how close of an estimate this is.

19:30 - get back to the dock.  Pay the ferryman.

20:00 - celebratory pint and pub food.  Assume somewhere near to Pitt Lake.  Thoughts?

What to bring?

Good question.  Thoughts:

  • bike, helmet, patch kit, knapsack/paniers, light
  • comfortable gear for biking in any weather
  • gear if the weather goes cold or rainy
  • camera if you want to capture the adventure
  • emergency gear in case you fall off a cliff or get bitten by a shark or we miss the ferry and have to camp out on the beach
  • food and drink for the day
  • bathing suit (or not... back country protocol applies)
  • group should have cell phone, GPS, emergency medical kit 

Chip in your thoughts with a comment. 

we're in!

Scott and I are absolutely in for this Sunday! :)

I'm in!

Ean, thanks for getting everything organized and I'm even more pleased that the event is later than planned as I'm available on the date you decided on.  I'll see you at 7:30 next Saturday.  Here's my number incase you need a verbal confirmation...778-840-3939.

The only other things I would add to your list of things to bring:  sun screen and mossy repellent (they're big and hungry this year!).



Sibylle's picture

Donna, I think the date is

Donna, I think the date is set for Sunday, 31st May...but maybe I am completely lost.  Saturday, our youngest event host, Max, is giving his debut at the Lord of the Loops, and we wouldn't want to compete against Max ;-) 

I'd love to join the group for the Hot Spring, but alas, Ean has first dips, I'll stay with our kids that are not quite old enough...besides, we'd fill up the boat ;-)

Taxi News


I have some news about the taxi

Sorry we were out of the province ,We carries 7 passengers and all your gear and bikes we charge $ 250.00  each way on the lake 
$ 500.00 return trip for the whole boat , It takes about 45 minutes each way the lake is 16 Km long , the hot springs is 22 Km up the road.
You can come and go in one day . we have a cabin that we rent out 3 bedrooms .. $100.00 pre day sleeps 6 ...
So that about $70 if we get a full boat.  I am not sure if I coming, but I have asked availability.  More news to follow
Ean Jackson's picture

Pitt River Water Taxi

I just spoke to Bobbi at Pitt River Water Taxi.  Our conversation confirmed the post above.

Her company can take up to seven (7) people including bikes and gear to the top of the lake (and back!) for $500....so, for 5 people it would cost $100 each and for 7 it would be about $75 per person.  She needs confirmation by Monday or Tuesday at the latest for a reservation... the earlier the better.

Bobbi confirmed that the road from the top of the lake to the springs is a maintained forestry service logging road.  It's 22K and she felt that anyone who can ride a mountain bike on single track would find this road as simple as pie.  The 16K boat trip up Pitt Lake will take between 45 and 60 minutes each way.

Bobbi has a cabin at the 7K up the logging road she will rent out for $100 for 4 people and $25 each additional.  Just thought I'd share that for future reference, as it's not on their website.

They pick up at Grant Narrows Park in Pitt Meadows, BC.  Meet at the public dock near Ayla Canoe Rentals, at the South West end of Pitt Lake (click on the link for a map.)  The taxi can pick up and drop off at any time.  For a day trip, she said &:00 or 7:30 am is fine.

Ean Jackson's picture

Sat 16 May?

We're a couple of days out.  I propose moving the date out a couple of weeks because:

  1. After a work week of warm and glorious sunshine, it's supposed to piss rain all weekend.
  2. I don't have all of the info regarding boat booking
  3. I don't have 3 other people confirmed

So, if you're interested in going on the 16th, please leave a note here or call me at 604-904-6554


Ean Jackson's picture

The "Ayes" Have it -- Date Changed!

Well, my intent with putting this event together was twofold:

  1. Get off my duff and take a stab at finally going for a dip in these springs
  2. Identify like-minded folks who would be interested in sharing the adventure

The date was actually secondary, but I had to pick one to get the ball rolling.  As it turns out, that date was not the best in any case because it conflicts with the Marathon Shuffle in Powell River.  Besides, according to Kyla, some of the springs may still be underwater due to snowmelt runoff.

I've not done any calling around regarding the boat or conditions of the springs.  Claudia, want to take a stab at that?  In the meantime, I've pushed the date out by a couple of weeks so it at least stays on the calendar.

cbullington's picture

Another vote for the weekend after the 10 vistas 50 km

Adventure lover Claudia also wants to go... hoping you can move it to the weekend of April 25? Cheers, Adventure Ass - alias Claudia

Hot Spring Hustle

I love the name!  I'd love to participate, but wouldn't be able to make it on the April 18-19th w/e, Diez Vista on 18th and Sun Run on the 19th.  I would be interested in April 25-26 if that's better.


Keep me in the loop!



Ean Jackson's picture

Event Date

I'm not at all fixed on the date.  Hoping to come up with a list of about 6 keeners and take it from there.  So far, it's you and me, AdventureMike

Ean Jackson's picture

Notes from Kyla who has been there...

This note by email from CFA member Kyla Adams:

I've done this trip several times by canoe/bike, and once attempted the hike in. The trail shown on the backroads mapbook from Squamish (the Fools Gold trail) doesn't really exist. It is a long haul on a logging road, a long, long bushwhack, and treacherous at times. Maybe you have a different route picked out, I don't know, but my best memory of that trail is bushwhacking from flagging tape to flagging tape, then finally finding a piece of flagging tape on the edge of a blackberry field... the next piece fluttering teasingly on the other side of the brambles. We went though anyways, but had to turn back before getting to the road to the hot springs.

Ayla canoes rents canoes from the bottom of the lake, and are reasonably priced. I don't know when they begin operation for the year, but they will prob be open in mid-April. There is always a headwind coming back on the lake, and as BC's largest tidal lake, you have to be careful what time of day you leave or you may end up pushing your bike-laden boat through the mud for a long, long way. Not so bad on a hot summer day, but April? There are few places to stop on the shores of the lake. Sides are really steep. Look for the petroglyphs high up on the rock wall on the west shore, too. The bike is trivial, it's practically flat the whole way there. The road is well maintained, they still log up there.

The hot springs themselves are nice, but with a spring river flood you may find yourself with hotsprings underwater. It's unlikely, though, in my opinion.

Anyways, if you want more info about this, feel free to ask, and feel free to forward this to anyone who might be thinking about joining you.

I'd actually be interested in joining you too, I am pretty sure my exams are done by that time. I don't have to start summer work until May. :)

I would also suggest the boat and bike option because you can bring lots of wine and good food...

Top Note

Would love to come along on this one, but don't have a mountain bike however if welcome me and my 1970's Apollo would love to come along the bike has ten gears and I have four.  Don't panic I ride it from the west end to Burnaby twice a week (Gaglardi Way).  Hope we are welcome.



Ean Jackson's picture

Apollo Welcome!

Hey James,

I had one of them, too!  Nice bike.  Not sure how it will fare on the logging roads, but not sure how my PoS (Piece of Shit) mountain bike will, either?  It will be an adventure.  I've still not called regarding boat options and the date is fast approaching.  Want to take that on and share your findings here on the event page?  My concern is that we may have to put a deposit on the boat and that means "comittment"!  My concern is with the weather.

Ean Jackson's picture

The Springs

Here are some links I found to more information and a few enticing photos:

Run in from Squamish?  That was my first thought.  This convinced me otherwise:

Other writeups and impressions:


Ean Jackson's picture

Getting Up and Back Down Pitt Lake

I understand that Pitt River Water Taxi will haul up to 7 people and 6 bikes to and from the road to the hot springs for $400 ($200 each way.)  Not verified.

I've heard that Pitt River Lodge may do same.

Anyone have any other thoughts?

It would be really good to pay a friend-of-a-friend who has a boat and bring them along on the adventure.  Can't think of anyone myself, though.

 I thought I would weigh in

 I thought I would weigh in on this discussion as I can't resist a good challenge.  While I'm all for spending all day working to reap the benefits of relaxing in hot springs, I'd be into a leisurely boat ride and short bike ride to enjoy similar benefits!  Alas, I don't know anyone with a boat who'd be interested in being our taxi.

The weekend of April 25th also works better for me.


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